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Yesterday, it was quite a treat to have my own private (mini) hand-lettering class with Molly Stephenson. The intent wasn’t really to teach me to letter, it was to make a video showing that anyone can do modern calligraphy. It turns out that’s true, but not without a little lesson or two.
And I don’t mean only the lesson of practicing the downstrokes.
We’d agreed that for our upcoming Simmer Down GNO (hand-lettering class) Molly would teach everyone the basics of modern calligraphy and give plenty of practice time with their practice sheets. For those wanting a perfectly lettered mug, we’d provide a “stencil” to put inside the cup and then we’d all letter the word Simmer on our mugs. Voila!
The objective was clear, and I was ready to jump right in to do it.
But there was this one little part Molly told me about previously, that I just thought was going to be for everyone else at Girls Night Out, not for me at our little mini-session. It was the part about slowing down. Breathing in, breathing out. Taking only one stroke at a time. Letting everything else go.
Trusting the process.
While modern calligraphy looks like it’s this beautiful flow of connected letters that simply glided out of the end of a brush pen. I quickly learned that it doesn’t work that way. The letters are actually made up of individual, disconnected strokes. I’ve never lettered anything before, and I’m just a tad stubborn, so I seriously expected that I could simply bust out my own not-so-great cursive handwriting, doubling down on the downstrokes, and it would be just as beautiful as hers.
You can easily see how well that worked out for me in the image above.
When we sat down (on video) for Molly to teach me to letter, the pressure was on for me to make it look good and make it look easy. I decided to try to trust the process and do it her way. I traced the downstrokes of her letters on the whiteboard and it was easy. It was beautiful. I used her stencil inside the mug as a guidepost to write the initial word and then, as much as I wanted to just free-hand it, I looked at her practice sheet and followed the proper steps. I tuned out the noise creating the pressure in my mind. I slowed down and took a few deep breaths. Much to my delight, my mug turned beautifully.
When I look at the letters, it’s a reminder of that process.
Trust the process.
That’s so much easier said than done.
When there are so many important things riding on the outcome. When everyone is watching. When time is running out. When the money is gone. When you can’t control the other person. When you feel like giving up. When it feels like everyone is waiting on you and counting on you to deliver, trusting the process sounds like a nice quote to hang on the wall.
But it doesn’t meet with reality.
For our first “HeartStories Birthday Party” I wanted to include something meaningful directly from me in our swag bags. So I worked with my friend Mimi at Big Hearted – to create custom clings for each of the attendees that night. When she asked what I wanted them to say, the message that immediately came to mind was this:
Trust the wait.
Embrace the uncertainty.
Enjoy the beauty of becoming.
When nothing is certain,
Anything is possible.
Apparently that part doesn’t go away with age.
I needed the reminder yesterday and I’m guessing you might too.
Trust the process.
Keep doing the next right thing.
The beauty is in the becoming.
to more love,
p.s. If you need a night to slow down and put everything else on the back burner to simmer, decide to do that for yourself today. Register to join us right here.